During the Port Charles Hotel fire — the first of what I’d like to call the disaster sweeps stories — Elizabeth was kept mostly on the sidelines which was not an issue for me. Rebecca Herbst was pregnant in real-life and likely would have been around six or seven months pregnant (I believe her daughter was born that April). Jason was, of course, in the middle of things, and he was nearly killed at the end of it by rogue Detective Capelli (a heel turn that devastated many because his portrayer was pretty). There was a cliff hanger, and I was inspired to write what if Elizabeth shows up.
This was an episode tag to February 18, 2004’s episode as the hotel fire was winding down. Most of the survivors had been evacuated from the roof by helicopter (leading to one of the most epic NEm scenes in their story — Emily being carried away as Nikolas looks on, trapped). Nikolas was left behind and believed dead for several episodes. (On another note — Nikolas and Emily had some serious super couple writing in that they were constantly being reunited and separated — the stories themselves weren’t so great, but the trope was there, and i think one of the last true supercouples the show launched).
At the same time, Jason had escaped but was stopped by PCPD Detective Andy Capelli who had been ordered by Lorenzo Alcazar to kill him. (I think — this is a bit fuzzy and it’s been a long time since I’ve rewatched). Elizabeth was married to Ric, and that marriage looked relatively stable (their breakup was welcomed but weirdly out of place with the way they’d written them over the previous six months).
Anyway, the scene is this — Jason is trapped by Capelli with a gun on him, facing certain death, and Elizabeth is somewhere on the grounds. I have no earthly clue how this worked out when it actually aired, lol.
“Could you just…please check for me? One last time?”
Her best friend’s heartbroken voice echoing in her ears, Elizabeth Webber-Lansing stepped out of her car and pulled her jacket more tightly around her protruding belly.
Emily was back at Wyndemere but unable to let go of the possibility that Nikolas had been found or was still trying to get out. She’d begged Elizabeth to check just one more time and Elizabeth—the memory of the night Lucky died in a fire all too vivid in her mind—couldn’t bear to refuse her.
The ruins of the once luxurious hotel were still standing up to about the tenth floor. She knew that plans were already being made to tear it down but it ripped at her to know Nikolas’s body might never be recovered.
As she approached the entrance to the building, she heard raised voices. She rounded the corner and stopped dead in her tracks at the sight of Detective Andrew Capelli holding a gun on Jason.
“It’s called a preemptive measure, Morgan,” Capelli hissed. “Take you out before you can take me out.”
“I don’t know what you’re talking about,” Jason remarked stiffly. “You handcuffed me to a pipe to die. Seems to me you already had your shot.”
“And you won’t get a chance to retaliate,” Capelli declared. He cocked back the hammer.
Elizabeth took a few steps back and took a deep breath. “Hello?” she called. “Is anyone here?”
Capelli whirled around and Jason used the opportunity to tackle him the ground. But Capelli kept control of the gun and Jason ended up on the ground.
“What’s going on here?” Elizabeth demanded.
“Elizabeth, get out of here!” Jason ordered.
“Detective Capelli?” Elizabeth asked, ignoring Jason’s words. She crossed her arms tightly. “Are you in the middle of an arrest?”
“Yes, Mrs. Lansing, so please vacate the premises,” Capelli said, keeping his foot on Jason’s chest.
“Why are you arresting him?”
“This is official police business,” Capelli replied coldly. “Please leave.”
Continuing to ignore the request to leave, Elizabeth strode towards them and stood on the other side of Jason. “So you routinely shoot suspects who are unarmed?” she demanded.
“Mrs. Landing, why do you give a damn about a criminal who’s tried to kill your own husband numerous times?” Capelli said scathingly.
“And who are you to decide who lives and dies?” Elizabeth challenged. “I’m not leaving until you do. So step back.”
“I don’t think so.” He raised the gun to her face. “You either leave or I make you leave.”
Her skin drained of color but she didn’t blink. “If you shoot me, you’re going to find it a little more difficult to get away with that than you will if you shoot Jason. Because my husband will find out and you will pay for it.”
“What makes you think they’ll find your bodies? Maybe I’ll write your spouses a nice note telling them how you ran away together.”
With Capelli’s attention and gun firmly on Elizabeth, Jason used the opportunity to knock him off balance, the gun flying in the air.
Jason tackled him and held him to the ground. He contemplated pulling his gun from his waist but with Elizabeth standing right behind him, he wouldn’t put her in the position to having to see that. “Call the police, Elizabeth,” he directed.
“They’re already on their way,” Elizabeth said in a shaky voice. “I called Ric on my cell and he’s been listening in the whole time.” She removed the phone from her pocket. “Ric?”
“We’re en route, Elizabeth,” Ric told her. “Can Jason hold him down for another five minutes?”
“They’ll be here in five minutes, can you hold him until then?” Elizabeth asked.
“Yeah,” Elizabeth repeated. “I’ll see you then.” She closed the phone and put it back in her pocket.
“Why didn’t you leave when I told you to?” Jason demanded, his arm pressed firmly into Capelli’s windpipe.
Elizabeth snorted. “Yeah, walk away when someone’s got a gun on you. Dream on.”